Serving as a family care provider for an older adult is truly an act of love. And even though it might certainly be rewarding, it can also quickly become daunting, as a consequence of:
- The physical complications of a chronic illness
- The cognitive challenges of Alzheimer’s disease
- Feeling helpless and not able to address the older adult’s problems
- Feeling stressed without the time to care for yourself
- And numerous other contributing factors
It is very important for family caregivers to set aside regular time each day to take a break and recharge, and to help counteract stress. However, prioritizing time to do this may seem impossible.
At Live Free Home Health Care, a provider of expert Holderness home care services, we understand how much stress family members face when an older loved one is in need of care. Our services benefit not only the older adults we take care of, but the rest of the family as well, allowing family caregivers to get the time away they need. These tips from our aging care experts can help decrease caregiver stress and restore peace:
- Take deep breaths. Deep breathing is a wonderful way for you to immediately calm an anxious heart. And you can do it anywhere, whenever you want! Just settle into a comfy, seated position, and breathe in through your nose while counting silently to five. Then, release your breath through your nose, again while silently counting to five. Repeat as often as required until you’re feeling more at peace.
- Think intentionally. Concentrating on the problems occurring at present is a normal reaction, but with some practice, you can learn how to intentionally shift your thinking to something more uplifting. In the middle of a stressful event, the positives may not be easy to find, but they’re there nonetheless – even if it’s something as apparently insignificant as the beauty of the centerpiece on the table, the words to your favorite song, or even the aroma of apple pie baking in the oven.
- Thank yourself. Meeting the care needs of someone else is very important work, work that is deserving of gratitude. It’s work that you’d thank someone else for doing, but are you taking time to thank yourself? Often, family caregivers beat themselves up in replaying all the mistakes they’ve made. Instead, acknowledge the things you’re doing that genuinely help your family member, and value yourself for the compassion you’re showing.
- Work out regularly. Regular exercise produces endorphins that give a natural boost to our mental outlook. If it is difficult to reserve time for a full exercise session, it’s just as effective to split your workout time up into smaller activities during the day. This might be as easy as parking your vehicle in an area that is farther from a shop entrance, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or peddling on a stationary bike while talking to a loved one.
The easiest method to lower stress and achieve a healthy life balance, however, is by partnering with a dependable in-home care provider, like Live Free Home Health Care. It’s not always easy asking for help; but caregiving is not supposed to be a one-person job.
Ongoing, regular respite care enables family caregivers to take regular breaks for themselves, which generally causes them to be more patient and effective caregivers – an important benefit for seniors. And, it gives older adults an added opportunity to socialize, with a fully experienced, kind and thoughtful caregiving companion.
We are just a call away, and here to assist you and the older adult in your care any time with award-winning in-home respite care services in Holderness, NH and the surrounding communities. Contact us at 603-217-0149 to find out more or to schedule a free in-home assessment.